Jenny (jenny_evergreen) wrote,

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Taking A Stand

My opinion on all the Big Issues.

 Abortion - I am pro-choice. I don't like the "it's a fetus not a person" line; to me, it's a life when it's conceived. However, when life begins is irrelevant to the argument from my point of view. I would compare it more to conjoined twins, for example; two people sharing a body...someone has to give, and it's simply not always reasonable for it to be the mother. I, personally, would be extremely unlikely to get an abortion and believe that abortions would not happen in an ideal world...but we don't live in an ideal world. That said, I am not at all hesitant to make use of birth control. I appreciate the sentiments of both pro-choice and pro-life people, but I come down firmly on the side of "it's not my choice to make" for anyone other than myself.

 Children and social policy regarding them - This is a very difficult issue, and I'm undecided in some ways. Children are not capable, generally, of making truly knowledgeable decisions. Who should have the final say is where I vacillate. I lean heavily towards parental rights in most areas, except those that involve serious physical danger to the child, which I then generally believe should be reviewed by more objective parties, ideally. But not always. (For example, sometimes the best judge of a risk happens to be the parent of the child.)

 Foreign policy - Fundamentally, I believe that we need to stop having borders at all. I support a global government. I am resigned to the fact that this is not something I can reasonably expect in the next hundred years or so, however. I think we need to refrain from taking advantage of other people and the countries they inhabit, period. I think the USA needs to be consistent...either it IS the world's police or it is NOT. It should not pretend to be benevolent when it's really serving its own interests. If it serves its own interests at the cost of others, it should be prepared for the negative fallout of that, and to be treated in kind.

 Gun control - One of the areas in which I differ from many liberals. I don't believe in banning guns (no point, you just get black markets, and, yes, I am consistent in this.) I DO believe in solid licensing procedures and, at minimum, waiting periods, for anything more efficient than a musket or knife. I think we have too many laws, make too many distinctions. Killing or assaulting other people is and should be illegal, no matter what tool one uses to do so. One's reasons, on the other hand, are a whole other issue.

 Immigration - I support a global society. This means I don't like closed borders. I think if a country feels that it doesn't have room for more, then it should help make sure people WANT to stay in their country of birth.

 Privacy vs. security - I'm fine with security as long as it does not impair responsible individual freedom, which I believe is vital. I think people have a basic right to privacy. The only alternative is a universally agreed upon set of morals, and that's about as impossible as anything gets.

 Related to taxes: government spending - I am not happy with the way my government spends the money I give it, not happy at all. I do what I can with my vote to change that, but my power is minimal. I'd like to see the bulk of the money go to maintaining infrastructure (roads, public areas, public safety), education, and meeting the basic needs of all people, including things like universal healthcare and even universal income.

 Religion's place in society - Religion is an important part of society, although ALL religion should be entirely voluntary. No government should promote any one religion over any other. Period.
I don't personally believe in anything that could be considered a deity, but I am far from without faith. I am closest to Buddhist or Taoist, but also actively practice magic. I do not, however, consider myself a Pagan. I have found a religious home in the Unitarian Universalist faith and I'm happy there and likely to encourage people to check it out, without being pushy about it. For me, the most important thing that religion offers is community. Update: These days, the Pagan is stronger in my life, with my connection to Mother Earth and Father Sun deepening.

 Same-sex (and poly) marriage - YES. Of course. Why on earth not? (No biblical reasons are EVER acceptable to me in an argument, and are no more compelling than a Grimm's Fairy Tale (which is also a collection of oral history in often metaphorical form.)) In fact, this is a deal-breaker for me. I cannot maintain a real relationship with someone who feels that homosexuality is unacceptable in some way. The chasm is between us is just too deep.

 Schools - Should be a priority. Should provide a firm grounding in the basics for every person. In the USA, at this time, are not a priority and do not provide said firm grounding.

 Science vs. pseudoscience (e.g. teaching creationism as a valid alternative to evolution) - Creationism is a religious concept. Evolution is not. If you wish to mention that there are religions that believe in things other than evolution, go right ahead. But mention them ALL. And do not promote ANY religion. (If you want to promote religion in a school, you are free to open a religious school that people are free to allow their children to attend, as long as that school ALSO teaches what the public schools teach, giving children the same grounding in the basics.) Before discussing this topic with me, please learn the difference between a scientific theory and a popular theory. Thank you.

 Sexuality, including sexual orientation, fetishes, and other kinks - As long as everyone involved knowledgeably consents and would be considered sane by at least some people who would be judged as sane by at least some other people, what any adults feel like doing is fine with me. I am pansexual and if you want to know about my kinks, ask; if I feel comfortable, I'll tell you.

 Social security - Great idea. Keep it funded and stop stealing from it. If we are lucky, we will all be old, and the majority of us will not be able to work till we die. Financial security for everyone is good for everyone.

 Taxes - Yes, I do believe people should be required to give (and the more you have, the more you should give) in order to support institutions that benefit the society and help to prevent major ills, such as hunger, homelessness, etc. Voluntary donation is too unreliable. I do think people should have more of a say in how their funds are distributed, and hope that will happen within the next hundred years.

 The economy - Needs an influx of new ideas and methods (or possibly new versions of abandoned ones). Better education would help with this. We cannot force change not to occur, and trying to do so is harmful.

 The relative importance and disastrousness of nudity vs. violence - Violence is Bad. Nudity is Totally Harmless. Up with nudity, down with violence. What more can I say? Well, I can say that fantasy and reality are two different things and that I don't believe that the thought equals the deed. In fact, I know from personal experience that fantasy can be far more extreme than reality would be, simply because it IS fantasy, and lacks physical substance/reality. I believe in freedom of speech/expression, as long as others have the same right and ability to not listen/watch/etc.

 The space program - Needs a LOT more money and support.

 Welfare, both individual and corporate - In a capitalist society/free market, businesses should survive or fail without government interference. Individuals, however, even in a capitalist society, should never be allowed to become homeless, should never be malnourished, etc. Every human being should have their basic needs met. If they can't do it themselves, then we should do it for them until they can.

 Gender roles - Sex, as far as I am concerned, is strictly about which sexual organs/hormones you have. I do not believe that having different sexual organs/hormones makes two individuals significantly different in any other way. I believe this is fundamentally a societal construct. As a societal construct, though, it is real, and my ideal is to see that construct be more flexible, more reflective of the diversity within genders, and to eliminate the idea that one gender is "better" or "should" be less equal than the other. I completely support transgender people; being in the wrong body is being in the wrong body.

 Class - economic and social - In my society, economic classes are simply a fact of life. They are in most societies. I believe the rich are obligated to help the poor. In fact, I was thinking this morning that I'd like to see a law put in place that one cannot refuse to grant the request of someone for a needed thing (like food) so long as fulfilling the request would not be detrimental to themselves. Yes, this would take a long time to hash out in court, and many cases would be fought, but I believe it would be worth it in the end. If a starving person asks you for food that you have in abundance and you refuse him or her nourishment, yes, I believe you are a danger to humanity. Controversial and complicated, I know. I think social classes come down, ultimately, to the educated and the uneducated. I would like to see a world in which EVERYONE was educated. Just thinking about it is incredibly exciting.

 Pornography, especially what constitutes child pornography (e.g. is virtual child porn as bad as the real thing?). - Fantasy is not reality, and may help prevent real harm from occurring. As mentioned elsewhere, children cannot generally give knowledgeable consent. In the gray area of sex between children who have consented to each other without outside interference, I generally support the idea of age ranges. When there is a dramatic age difference, the question of authority comes into play and I feel it is better to err on the side of caution, particularly in a sexually repressed and maladjusted society like the one I live in. When it comes to adults, I don't want people victimized in the sex industry and don't want victimized people in the sex industry. I do believe one can make a healthy choice to work in the sex industry and that more people are doing so than did in the past. I think erotic films can be part of a healthy sex life.

 Racism - Race is not actually a scientific concept, but racism is very much a reality. I believe that humanity benefits from diversity. I believe we need to do everything we can to eradicate racism. This is another dealbreaker. Again, the chasm between us is simply too deep if you think racism is in ANY way okay.

 Drug legalization - I support it. Banning drugs is as useless as banning guns. It is important to note that being under the influence of drugs does not mitigate any crimes one may engage in. Unless someone else administered them without your consent, that is.

 Prostitution - Probably wouldn't exist in a sexually well-adjusted society. Should be regulated and legal. No one should be able to force (a reasonable adult) someone to have sex OR to refrain from having sex, for money or otherwise.

 Suicide - Totally up to the individual. It's your life, and you have the primary right to decide whether to live it or not (ill or not.) That said, I do think people who care about you have a right to try to convince you NOT to kill yourself. I would like to see unbiased "suicide counselors" that would be the arbiters in cases where there is an objector to a suicide. Please make sure you are in full control of your faculties if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts. It CAN be reasonable, but that doesn't mean it IS, in your case. Most of the time, choosing to keep living is the better, wiser choice.

 Cloning - We cannot undiscover things. I think we should be as ethical as possible about it, but we can't stop it, nor should we try. I generally feel this way about most change...yes, it's terrifying, but we can't and shouldn't erase knowledge, only pursue it as responsibly as we can and deal intelligently with those who pursue it irresponsibly.

 Health Care - Falls under a need rather than a desire, and should be available to all people. I'd rather pay a doctor's salary than a politician's!

 The Environment - It is only practical to do what we can to avoid irreparable harm to our environment, since we have to live in it. I support the use of renewable eco-friendly resources and the active pursuit of more earth-friendly ways to live.

 Animals - Should not be tortured or brutalized just because they can't put forth logical arguments defending themselves. I am a vegetarian EDIT, 1/10/13: after almost 20 years and much internal and sometimes external debate, I decided to become a pescetarian, and I'm content with that now, but do not object to those who aren't. I believe that one should treat animals with kindness and in a responsible manner, including those bred for consumption. Experimentation on other animals should be approached with essentially the same level of care and caution exercised on experimentation on humans (which I would be willing to see relaxed more than a bit, actually.) If you choose to care for an animal (e.g. as a pet), you do so for the life of that animal, and that doesn't mean you get to end it when it becomes inconvenient for you.
Also, I strongly believe that both cats and dogs do NOT belong outside unless they are on a leash or in an appropriate, safe enclosure.

 Crime and the Death Penalty- I'm a big supporter of stopping the problem before it develops, with, for example, education and meeting the fundamental needs of all persons. I'm also a big supporter of rehabilitation. I believe those that are a danger to others should be separated from others until such a time as they can be reasonably believed to be no longer a danger. I do not support the death penalty; in fact, I firmly oppose it.

 War - I do not believe that war is ultimately a successful coping strategy. I believe we need to stop war if we are to survive as a species. I do not initiate violence, and will avoid violent forms of defense until every other avenue has been taken. I believe revenge motivates both the death penalty and most wars and I believe that revenge is fundamentally wrong, no matter how good it feels.

 Gambling - I don't personally think it's generally a good idea, but see no reason to interfere with the liberty of others to engage in it, unless those others are going to want society to come to their rescue when they lose everything. In that case, I think strict rules on rehabilitation and social aid come into play.

 Police and others in powerful positions - Should be VERY closely watched and regulated. The more power one has, the easier it is to abuse. No one should be given more socio-political power than they absolutely must have in order to do their job.

 Copyright - I have come to believe that perhaps copyright has gone too far. If I make a painting and sell it, the person who purchased the painting does not then have to continue to pay me for it when they display it and can even destroy it if they wish...they purchase the total rights to the work. I think that perhaps this should also be true of songs/music/written works, etc. This idea of selling partial rights to things is, I think, doomed to failure.

That's everything I can think of (with the help of janetmiles, thanks again!) If any of you can think of something we've missed (or would like me to expand on anything), do post a comment and I'll respond with my opinion on it. Thanks!

Oh! P.S. My doctor cancelled our appointment for today, it has been rescheduled for Monday.

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  • Second Chance Idol: What the heck WAS that?

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    For those who want to, here's this week's vote at LJ Idol. On the down side, even if I survive the general vote, there's a contestant only vote that…

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